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J Immunol. 2000 Sep 15;165(6):2932-6.

Functional requirement for SAP in 2B4-mediated activation of human natural killer cells as revealed by the X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome.

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Centenary Institute for Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, and University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome (XLP) is an immunodeficiency characterized by life-threatening infectious mononucleosis and EBV-induced B cell lymphoma. The gene mutated in XLP encodes SLAM (signaling lymphocytic activation molecule-associated protein)-associated protein (SAP), a small SH2 domain-containing protein. SAP associates with 2B4 and SLAM, activating receptors expressed by NK and T cells, and prevents recruitment of SH2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-2 SHP-2) to the cytoplasmic domains of these receptors. The phenotype of XLP may therefore result from perturbed signaling through SAP-associating receptors. We have addressed the functional consequence of SAP deficiency on 2B4-mediated NK cell activation. Ligating 2B4 on normal human NK cells with anti-2B4 mAb or interaction with transfectants bearing the 2B4 ligand CD48 induced NK cell cytotoxicity. In contrast, ligation of 2B4 on NK cells from a SAP-deficient XLP patient failed to initiate cytotoxicity. Despite this, CD2 or CD16-induced cytotoxicity of SAP-deficient NK cells was similar to that of normal NK cells. Thus, selective impairment of 2B4-mediated NK cell activation may contribute to the immunopathology of XLP.

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